DNA: Dublin Network Architecture

Post Graduate Architectural Thesis Report: An organisational typology and transit masterplan to provide for tomorrow’s mass transit in dublin’s city centre while conserving the historic and cultural districts in the context of global climate change and conflict.

Finding Value in the Invaluable

This thesis is an exploration into the sequence of spatial experiences which is afforded to the individual by their built environment. It is an investigation of the urban condition, ideas of procession and promenade, and adaptation in an endeavour to curate a responsive architectural attitude to designing within our urban fabric.

My area of study is Limerick city centre. I investigate the character of the city realm and the experience of the everyday. This is a place plagued by urban decay and vacancy; however, it is also rich in its history and design. The Georgian grid is a renowned example of urban planning and is considered a special area of conservation. This thesis examines building heritage, conservation, and dereliction in Limerick city.

The chosen site forms part of a Georgian block in Limerick city. It contains the derelict buildings of nos. 34-41 Catherine Street, and their associated brown-field site in the block interior. The site borders Glenworth lane to the northeast, Catherine street to the south east, the Mallow Street terraces to the south west, and a laneway from Malow Street to the northwest. The block in which it sits faces onto O’Connell Street, a primary thoroughfare in Limerick, and its location is an area of transition between primarily commercial and residential parts of the city.

The proposal of this thesis aims to create a piece of urban fabric which enables a richness of interface between the human and their build environment. The intervention strives to enhance the spatial experiences of the city-goer as they move through the city and provide public spaces within for city and community happenings to take place.

Tradisiún a Chaomhnú – an teanga, an cultúr agus na healaíona

This thesis investigates the role that architecture has or can have in preserving cultural ideas that strengthen our expression and sense of identity. When thinking about our féiniúlacht, who we are, we often think of our mother-tongue and the heritage of ceol, scéalaíocht, filíocht, and béaloideas. It is our language that evokes a sense of place, Béal Bán, the white mouth, Cloichear, a place of stones or An Daingean, the fort.

My area of interest lies on the Dingle Peninsula, Corca Dhuibhne, the Gaeltacht where I grew up. This place where my identity is rooted. A place that has provided me with a connection and moulded my understanding of what the essence of Irish people is and has been for generations. In Dingle town, there’s a building which provoked an interest within me. An art deco façade amongst the patchwork of coloured townhouses in the fishing town. The Phoenix Cinema, one of the last old Irish cinemas of its kind which was, until recently, a space for people to gather and experience an interpretation of culture from around the world.

I will be taking the typology of the Old Irish Cinema as an existing infrastructure that lies empty within many towns scattered across our island and look to repurpose these spaces that once acted as cultural hearths within our communities. Initially, these were places of film, of dance, of music and of interaction. We must reignite these spaces to allow them to be places of cultural importance once again. A place where language, song, dance, and lore can thrive, where culture can flourish once more. 

A place to house Irish Identity

Curated Decay: Interventions to Stabilize Derelict Structures

The thesis project is centered around the illustrious Iveagh Markets located in the Liberties. The owners of this remarkable site have long held a deep reverence for its structure, perhaps even to the point of being overly cautious about making any alterations. However, the project aims to strike a balance between preservation and revitalization by exploring the concept of “stabilizing” derelict structures. We delve into the realm of architectural interventions that not only introduce new materials and spatial elements but also pay homage to the layers of time and the previous inhabitants who have left their mark on this cherished space. Our approach can be likened to that of a skilled gardener tending to a garden, infused with meticulous care and thoughtful consideration. 

At the heart of our project lies the fundamental goal of rejuvenating derelict structures by envisioning alternative methods to “stabilize” them. The excavation of the ground floor slab of the market exposed ruins from 17th-century Dublin but also compromised the structural integrity of the columns holding up the balcony and roof structure. Over the next 23 years, rain pours down through the ceiling, and plants grow wild reaching out towards the sun. The scaffolding structure proposed integrates itself to provide structural support and also a spatial function. It rethinks how the former dry market hall can be used as a “Chameleon” Space which changes its function based on how platforms can be installed on the scaffolding structures and bamboo blinds can control access and light.

Remaining faithful to this guiding principle, we carefully select materials that are both easy to install and maintain. By doing so, we ensure the longevity of our interventions while harmoniously integrating them within the existing fabric of the building. Our comprehensive study encompasses various aspects such as structure and function, allowing us to propose interventions that enhance the site’s overall integrity. Through this project, we aspire to honor the essence of the Iveagh Markets while breathing new life into its dormant spaces.

HAMMOND LANE | Cultural Disassembly

The ongoing draining of spirit, life and culture of the markets area while often acknowledged, its material demolition continues covertly. Considering economic constraints, context, climate and the direction of the area, this thesis refers to cultural disassembly as both an ongoing situation and as an act of protest. 

mining, borrowing, salvaging,

repairing, transforming, storing,

re-using and reimagining.

a celebration of material, process and the spirit of the city’s very fabric.

This thesis critiques the Dublin 7 markets area under the theme of Cultural Disassembly.

Dissecting this as two readings, |1| in reference to the current situation whereby the embodied cultural significance of the markets as a wholesale, almost industrial area is waning, |2| accepting this reality and striving to bring light on the process of its material demolition, deconstruction or rather disassembly, as a cultural practice.

The vehicle to investigate this further lies in the site of HAMMOND LANE, a site historically linked to manufacture and contemporarily to vacancy and decay. Reimagining a baron, publicly owned void as a machine of process, repair and maintenance in the interest of material reuse.

Here, the relationship of manufacture and civic necessity is interrogated as

foundry, workshop, school, library, market.’

The fabric of the building itself attempts to limit addition, only through the re-use of three nearby warehouses. Various dimensions of  re-use are questioned from re-purposing of demolition rubble, to the reprocessing of steel structure and building components.

Drawing and modelling largely focus on these specific additions, and the process behind each. Secondly, on the relationship of the civic and the industrial through a reimagination of place feeding from the surrounding local historical culture as a market and trading area and the industrial heritage of the site itself.’

CIANOBAIR: The Architecture of Remote Work in Donegal

The thesis explores the emerging role of remote working infrastructure in the revitalization of Irish towns.

Often interpreted as an isolating activity, the thesis proposes the reinterpretation of remote work as a collective endeavour: one with the capacity to challenge, reconfigure, and ultimately reform notions of how we live today. Situated at a critical juncture with regards to how we might move forward, the thesis asserts the question:
What is the architecture of remote work going to be?

In response to recent government policy acknowledging the ‘remote working hub’ as infrastructure, the thesis consciously interrogates and reframes the role of these infrastructures to shed light on how they could adopt a broader role in addressing the emerging needs of Irish Towns.

This is explored through a situated case study in the town of Ramelton, Co. Donegal that reconceptualizes the infrastructure as a responsive civic amenity: one where social, cultural and community programs have been integrated alongside co-working spaces in a critique of the infrastructure’s homogenous commercial role. This amenity is spatialized through the adaptive re-use of former warehouses at The Quay in Ramelton. The infrastructure has been translated through an approach that enables flexible appropriation of the existing fabric and emphasizes the social role of work in the life of Irish towns.

The thesis aims to construct a dialogue with regards to the role of public infrastructure; aligning broader social and environmental ambitions with specific architectural considerations through policy, and the evolving role of what it means to live and work in Irish towns. This dialogue advocates for a responsive approach to the implementation of these infrastructures where they deeply engage with the affordances of their status as public infrastructure.

Assembling Place through Dissonance

The overall ambition of this adaptive-reuse and regeneration project was to inject new life through careful architectural intervention into the currently overlooked, and underutilised area of the Stranmillis campus around the Henry Garrett building. This is accomplished through the partial adaptive reuse of the Henry Garrett building, and the intervention of a loggia to activate the central, overlooked meadow space as an informal courtyard. The architectural challenges of this site included, the poor utilisation of the existing natural environment, partly due to the imposing road network throughout the campus that limits pedestrian movement around it. The relative lack of formal public areas for socialising and working, which include the stunning woodland and grass areas around the campus which create opportunities for informal social spaces, however they are not utilised due to the poor spatial layout of the campus, with disconnected buildings and pedestrian paths intercepted by roads. And finally, the fact that the Henry Garrett building itself, a Grade B+ listed red brick former multi purpose educational building, constructed in the late 1940’s, is laying derelict, in a state of disrepair. 

The renovation of this building could be a key intervention into unlocking the overlooked potential of the campus, as well as being crucial to preserving, and continuing to utilise the unique built heritage of Belfast. The success of the proposed intervention should re-animate this area into a socially cohesive, engaged space that will be utilised by future generations. The interventions are designed to outlast the Henry Garrett building, therefore as the existing fabric of the building further disintegrates over time, the intervention will remain, redefining the spatial alignment of the space to be shaped by future generations.

“Every building must create coherent and well-shaped public space next to it”(Christopher Alexander, in “A New Theory of Urban Design” 1987)